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European Dimension

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MEMORY AND HERITAGE

in the 1938 at the Évian Conference lead-

ers from 32 countries refused to harbour 

jewish refugees. While Lithuania with Kau-

nas as its capital city took in 14,000 jews, 

16,000 poles, 12,000 polish soldiers and 

about 100,000 inhabitants from vilnius 

region. for nine months the country car-

ried this load. We want to tell the world 

this and other amazing European stories. 

another example is a story about our 

unique language. Linguists treasure it as 

retaining many elements of the proto-in-

do-European languages that reveal some 

of the “missing links” of how modern Eu-

ropean languages developed – and many 

other stories like these. stories that would 

inhabit the neglected city, revive and bring 

to life forgotten sites and places. We want 

to tell the (hi)story that can change per-

spective of this City which has never been 

loved enough. 

two main platforms – 

Modernism for the Fu-

ture and Memory Office – will be dedicated 

to the complicated theme of lost memory 

and contemporary perspectives of it. We 

will tell forgotten stories to Europeans and 

also create new emotional bonds to places 

and sites. We will share this experience with 

other Europeans through storytelling, pro-

ductions uniting Litvaks (jews whose origin 

comes from the grand duchy of Lithuania, 

the territory now covering the Lithuania, 

belarus and the big part of ukraine) and 

Lithuanians, international forums, exhibi-

tions, performances, conferences, discus-

sions, meetings and neighbours parties. 

besides, the latter platform confronts an-

other European challenge: to reinvent the 

meanings and functions of urban land-

scapes once again and to bring them back 

into the paradigm of a living urban fabric. 

Kaunas, as one of the new capitals of the 

20

th 


century has an outstanding opportunity 

to take an active part in the process of re-

thinking the role of recent heritage, and to 

inspire new methodologies based on inte-

grated conservation and adaptive reuse of 

Modernism buildings. Kaunas 2022 events 

will inspire new and creative approaches 

towards an understanding of Kaunas Mod-

ernism as a catalyst for the future. Kaunas 

as a showcase of a distinctly local inter-

pretation reflects the diversity and impor-

tance of the modernisation as universal 

process of human and European history. 

With the European Capital of Culture pro-

gramme we want to find and implement a 

long-term strategy of how to preserve, re-

vitalise and re-connect this outstanding 

heritage to the community living within it 

and with it – and connecting to other cit-

ies with similar issues through projects like 



Kaunas Modernism 360/365 and others. We 

will communicate Modernism as heritage, 

which is close to everyday life, gives a cul-

tural meaning to the environment where 

ordinary people live their lives.

today we can state that 



place is a conditi-

on of memory. Memory of a place is key to 

an emotional understanding of the world 

and ourselves. individuals as well as com-

munities can imagine their identity only in 

relation to some landmarks. these land-

marks help understand, justify and evalu-

ate self-perception and the perception of 

the other. 

however, some intellectuals assert that a 

deepening crisis of place is the most pro-

found dilemma of this century: lack of at-

tachment to a place disembodies mem-

ory, sunders relationships and promotes 

wasteful resource consumption. When we 

lose those places, we lose an essential part 

of our stories and ourselves.

thus, in an age of migration 

ennui of pla-

celessness becomes a common problem of 

the contemporary Western world. for Kau-

nas 2022 we are looking at this aspect of 

contemporary life from different European 

angles:

 

— Contemporary  Europe  faces  an  influx 



of people from different parts of the 

world with a possibly different “sense 



PLACE IS A

CONDITION OF

MEMORY 

a MasTEr byTadas Šimkus & Žygimantas amelynas. Fluxus Ministery, 2013

© rs

#

of place” and suffering from a forced 



displacement from their home coun-

tries. how can we as Europeans share 

our urban “memory maps” with them?

 

— 100,000 people left Kaunas over the 



past 25 years, often moving to other 

European countries. how do these 

“disembodied  memories”  reflect  back 

on their hometowns and into their 

new resident cities all over Europe 

and the world?

 

— through soviet and nazi occupa-



tion Kaunas and Lithuania have lost 

hundreds of thousands of its citizens, 

not only jewish, by forced removal or 

emigration. how does a place keep its 

memory?

 

— the generation of digital nomads is a 



relatively new group that lives with a 

different kind of “placelessness”. What 

impact does the digital world have in 

our ways of forming a sense of place 

and identity?

European culture and its identity are fac-

ing enormous challenges today. not long 

ago it seemed that the old antagonisms 

amongst European nations were in the dis-

tant past and Europe had become an open 

space with room for self-criticism, human 

rights and respect for human dignity. sadly, 

the old distinctions have resurfaced – we 

see  those  walls,  conflicts,  confrontations, 

prejudices and fears are rising again.

nevertheless, we strongly believe that Eu-

rope has the immense experience in solv-

ing similar issues and has the ability to 

transform its crisis into future possibilities. 

With Kaunas 2022 we want to show Eu-

ropean humanistic and artistic culture as 

the “glue” that can consolidate European 

nations, its citizens and create new bridges 

of understanding. besides, the miracle of 

Europe is not born in big cities. it is found 

in these small historical cultural places. 

such as Kaunas.

THE CONTEMPORARY LEGEND

the idea of a legend or myth of the City is 

based on the assumption that the City can 

be brought back to its European identity 

via telling a comprehensive story instead 

of having a patchwork of historical events 

and fragments. Kaunas is not European, 

merely, because it had isolated periods of 

medieval knighthood, hanseatic League, 

baroque, Modernism and post-Modernism, 

but because of the causality and interde-

pendence of these events. a continuum 

comprehensively showing the European 

tradition and orientation of Kaunas is 

needed and will be created through the 

legend Kaunas has never had. thus, Kau-

nas could become the first city with a post-

modern mythology. the method imple-

mented here in Kaunas can be shared with 

other cities with a similarly fragmented 

historic narratives.

CONTEMPORARY NETWORKS: FROM 

INSTITUTION TO INDIVIDUAL

during the period of preparation for Kau-

nas 2022 we are going to tap into all Eu-

ropean exchange networks in which the 

City is already an active participant as 

well as create new connections. 



Our aim 

is to create a CONTEMPORARY NETWORK 

of European cities, initiatives and indivi-

duals:

(1) the international 



diplomatic missions 

that were located in Kaunas during our 

time as tEMporary capital (Embassies 

of the netherlands, uK, armenia, ukraine, 

austria, Estonia, greece, denmark, Croatia, 

Latvia, russia, Luxembourg, japan, etc.) will 

become a starting point for contemporary 

digital diplomacy and digital tourism ini-

tiatives.

(2) 


New Hanseatic League partnerships fo-

cusing on new/contemporary ways of trad-

ing and communication among European 

cities (185 cities in 16 countries, some in-

volved also in the grand Event of Kaunas 

2022).


(3) unEsCo 

Creative Cities, especially in 

the design category to which Kaunas be-

longs, will become a platform for institu-

tional, municipality and ngo partnership 

through our established design forum, 

common conferences and exhibitions, as 

well as urban interventions (European cit-

ies: helsinki, berlin, bilbao, turin, saint-Éti-

enne, graz, stockholm, dundee, budapest; 

outside Europe: detroit, Montreal, singa-

pore, buenos aires, etc. – involved e.g. in 

the project 

designing happiness platform 

events from 2017). 

(4) 

Twin Cities partnerships will be re-

newed and strengthened (riga, Wroclaw, 

tampere, tartu, st. petersburg, grenoble, 

and many more). 16 out of 22 twin cities 

of Kaunas belong to countries of the Eu-

ropean union. We will use this network in 

fluxus Labs twining digitally the commu-

nities in microdistricts to the communities 

in other European cities.

(5) partner



 ECoC 2022 (Kaunas district and 

Esch-sur-alzette 2022 bigger area) provid-

ing possibilities to individuals and local 

community members to exchange talents, 

ideas, share daily life culture, kitchen tra-

ditions, gardening knowledge, crafts, etc. 

through week and year-long programme 

exchanges – project example: 

no border 

radio, remix Culture, etc.

(6) Looking at other 

temporary capitals 

in Europe we will connect to Weimar and 

bonn in germany, iasi in romania and Kau-

hajoki in finland to explore possible par-

allels and to invite them to share their ex-

periences at a conference of 

the Legacy of 

temporariness.

(7) Kaunas 2022 programme is going to 

become a platform of solid partnerships 

and collaborations amongst 

internatio-

nal scholars, researchers and cultural ne-

tworks: e.g. international meeting of the 

leaders of photography institutions (100 

participants, november 2017), iftr Con-

ference (international federation of thea-

tre research, 2022 june, up to 800 partici-

pants), 


European design forum (july 2022, 

up to 400 participants), iba Conference 

(international biennial association’s an-

nual meeting, september 2022, 400 par-

ticipants), 

international award for public 

art – award Ceremony (200 participants), 

international 

interpret Europe Conference 

(May 2022, 200 participants).

(8) some of our projects will promote in-

tercultural networks of 



new technologies 

across Europe as new social bonds (

no 

border radio, science island, digital diplo-



macy, pixel tunnels to Europe, it confer-

ences and fairs).

(9) We have agreed with pula in Croatia to 

keep the concept of a network of 



fortress 

cities which includes pula itself, but also 

cities like Magdeburg (bidding for ECoC 

2025), herceg novi (Montenegro) or viborg 

near aarhus. 

(10) and finally, we have more than 20 in-

ternational festivals, which are our strong-

est link to a broad international perspec-

tive for our bid. We have asked all of the 

festivals to propose and include in Kaunas 

2022  programme  at  least  five  European 

partners, so we already have 100 organi-

sations who had previously connections 

with Kaunas and also plenty of those who 

would gladly enter the partnership in ECoC 

programme for 2022. 

CONNECTING NEIGHBOURS

European Capital of Culture is neither a lo-

cal nor a national project. We strongly be-

lieve that this title is a platform given to all 

Europeans, especially to the neighbouring 

countries. that’s why we focus on partner-

ships with the countries around Lithuania: 

Latvia, Estonia, poland, russia, and belarus. 

We have transnational connections with 

the Wroclaw industrial festival in poland 

and the ural industrial biennial in Ekater-

inburg in russia, national philharmonics 

and gallery y in Minsk (belarus). polish cu-

rator Krzysztof stanislawski will be part of 

the curatorial team for implementing con-

temporary art actions: exhibitions, public 

art, and performances. grzegorz jarzyna 

(poland) is invited to work on documentary 

theatre projects within communities. With 

our baltic neighbours Latvia and Estonia 

we plan a symposium and a concert tour 

through Europe by the baltic youth phil-

harmonic, and also a concert of Kremera-

ta baltica (Lv, EE, Lt musicians). national 

Kaunas drama theatre has invited Latvian 


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read support 

letters from our 

partner cities

theatre director alvis hermanis to direct 

their new international production in 2022. 

gundega laiviņa (riga 2014, road Map cu-

rator) who is also the director of ngo 

new 


theatre institute of Latvia (riga) gave us 

practical suggestions regarding commu-

nity involvement projects and agreed to 

become a visiting tutor at 

the tempo aca-

demy of Culture (2017–2021) and to help 

twin communities in Latvia and Lithuania 

for 


We, the people platform.

Kaunas already has a rich experience of 

international partnership and collabora-

tion e.g. through Kaunas biennial (rough-

ly 80% of the event consists of European 

art content), Kaunas jazz festival (roughly 

30% European content), aura dance festi-

val (nearly 100% co-productions with Eu-

ropean artists) and others. the programme 

of Kaunas 2022 will be based on commu-

nal experience amongst national and in-

ternational partners, artists and cultural 

operators from almost 40 countries. 

For 

more European partners, please also see 

Q10.

Q10

Can you explain your strategy to attract the interest of a broad 

European and international public?

European Dimension

introducing:

Content – because content is king.

Contamination – because contaminating 

Europe with the virus of “contemporary art 

attitude” is queen.

so what can we do in the world where 

donald trump has just become president? 

nothing. 

We will not change our plans, we will stick 

to the two strategies we have.

and these two strategies to attract the in-

terest of a broad European and worldwide 

audience are #content and #contamination.



IMPETUS OF CONTENT 

  International Artistic Team: 

the directors, conductors, curators and 

managers of the main platforms and pro-

jects are well-known and experienced pro-

fessionals in the European and worldwide 

cultural context. they will ensure the high-

profile and international content of grand 

Events, public art projects and neighbour-

hood programme and 

will use their ne-

tworks to communicate projects world-

wide:  Daniele Finzi Pasca (Ch) – sochi 

olympics opening and Closing events’ 

director, invited to direct Kaunas 2022 

grand opening Event; rsa composer and 

Litvak

 Philip Miller will direct a reconcili-

ation oratory with 300 performers from 

various countries; community artist from 

rotterdam 



Jeanne van Heeswijk (the win-

ner of the Leonore annenberg prize for 

art and social Change) accepted invita-

tion to become a board member of the

 

tempo academy of Culture and lead one 



of the community projects; a conductor of 

birmingham symphonic orchestra 



Mirga 

Gražinytė Tyla will lead the Liberty Musical 

project with more than 2,000 musicians 

playing on the streets, roofs and air bal-

loons; 


Jon Hendricks, an associate cura-

tor at MoMa ny on fluxus (also curator of 

the yoko ono and silverman Collection of 

fluxus) will curate fLuXus exhibition at 

M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum Of art. 

german theatre director 



Falk Richter, an 

exhibition and community art curator from 

rome 

Benedetta Carpi de Resmini, artistic 

directors of 

alto fest in naples – Giovanni 

Trono and Anna Gesualdi will all contrib-

ute to the 

My Courtyard festival. Roberto 

Magro – a director of La Central del Circ 

in barcelona, and 



Gundega Laivina – di-

rector at the new theatre institute of Lat-

via and curator of 

roadMap community 

programme  for  riga2014,  are  confirmed 

as partners for the 

We, the people plat-

form for community involvement. 



Lorenzo 

Piazzi – director of design Library Milan is 

contributing to the international exhibi-

tion and workshop programme on 

future 


of the City. Mike Robinson – professor of 

Cultural heritage at birmingham universi-

ty and director at ironbridge international 

institute for Cultural heritage – is a partner 

in the establishment of the international 

heritage interpretation centre 

Modernism 

for the future. Musician Michaël Levinas

the son of Emmanuel Levinas, and his 

wife 


Danielle Cohen-Levinas (head at the 

Centre Emmanuel Levinas de l’université 

paris-sorbonne) are on the board of 

Litvak 


World forum.

for 


designing happiness platform activi-

ties we collaborate with 



Fionn Dobbin – 

a founder of leading social business in 

baltics MaMMu and design Consultancy 

age5 (dE/Lv) and a freelance creative ad-

visor in developing new ways and strate-

gies in the fields of human interaction and 

communication within their environment, 

Pieter Aarts from design Management 

network (dnM), 



Stefanie Raab – an archi-

tect, urbanist at CoopoLis, 



Vera de Jong – 

a researcher at the school of arts and Eco-

nomics at utrecht university of the arts 

(hogeschool voor de Kunsten utrecht) and 

founder of urban Connectors (urban Con-

nectors is an expert and driving force in 

creative urban development projects) and 

many others.



  Happy City

We are establishing 



The City as Public Art 

and Design Centre for the art attitude and 

design thinking sake instead of building 

new facilities for contemporary arts. and 

we declare it as our artistic vision. Lewis 

biggs, the founder of Liverpool biennial 

and folkestone triennial (both known for 

their original concept for arts being cre-

ated and installed in public spaces) is in-

vited as an artistic director for visual and 

public art for Kaunas 2022. he is forming a 

public art programme in partnership with 

more than 10 international organisations. 

Kaunas 2022 establishes a long-lasting 

programme based on commissions and 

open calls for regeneration of industrial 

and neglected venues of Kaunas City and 

the district by public art and design, thea-

tre and circus. the City will be tagged in-

ternationally as “the happiest place in the 

world” with a hope that this kind of artistic 

and social provocation will make the inter-

national news. 



Internationally recognised artists, com-

posers, conductors, theatre directors are 

already invited to participate in the pro-

gramme and create new commissioned 

works in relation to programme topics and 

problematics: 

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (MX/us) will be 

working in the public art sphere converting 

Kaunas to Crowned princess fairy tale for 

the grand opening and latter programme 

parts. 

Patricia Piccinini (au) is contributing 

to the appearance of a legendary 

Kaunas 

beast: she already did first sketches which 



will be further detailed and uncovered 

in the form of Europe flying balloon and 

secret marks of the beast spread through 

Kaunas and the district found only by spe-

cial maps. israeli choreographers 

Renata 

RazYossi BergOded Graf will direct new 

dance performances for fortress venues. 



Neville Gaby (rsa, uK/visual artist, work-

ing with communities) will contribute to 

the concept of 

the City as public art and 

design Centre. Alvis Hermanis (Lv) and Os-

karas Koršunovas (Lt) – theatre directors 

are invited to produce new stage produc-

tions at national Kaunas drama theatre 

for 2022. 



Jenny Kagan (uK) – light and vis-

ual artist will present her exhibition 

out of 

darkness at the industrial site of previous 



Kaunas ghetto. visual artist 

Silvia Giam-

brone (it), sound and installation artists 

Bojan  Gagić (hr), Miodrag  Gladović (hr) 

and many others are invited to take part 

in the programme. open calls and invita-

tions for international artists to work on 

new productions related to Kaunas 2022 

topics will be the axis of the programme’s 

openness throughout 2017–2022. 

  Exhibitions at M. K. Čiurlionis National 

Museum of Art in partnership with Euro-

pean and us museums and collectors:



FLUXUS EXHIBITION  presenting  the  first 

wave fluxus artists 



George MaciunasYoko 

OnoJonas Mekas in the context of Lithu-

anian fLuXus underground movement of 

that time.

MARIANNE IN THE LABORATORY OF ART – 

an exhibition of russian born german ex-

pressionist painter 

Marianne von Werefkin 

(1860–1938) in the context of 



Der Blaue 

Reiter group (Wassily Kandinsky, alexej von 

jawlensky, franz Marc, august Macke, and 

gabriele Münter) of which she was also a 

member.


THE EXHIBITION OF LITVAK ARTISTS Jacques 

Lipchitz (1891–1973), Marc Chagall (1887–

1985), 


Pinchus Krémègne (1890–1981), 

Michel Kikoïne (1892–1968), Max Band 

(1900–1974), 



Arbit Blatas (1908–1999), Théo 

Tobiasse (1927–2012) and others.

  Events held at alternative venues: 

MATTERS – a post-industrial culture festival. 

The final event of the 2022 festival will fea-

ture a large-scale audio-visual event – a sort 

of cross-over between a dark circus, extreme 

body practice and post-industrial opera. 

RECONCILIATION ORATORY – a musi-

cal/oratory at the Žalgiris arena (20 000 

seats) with more than 300 professionals 

(singers, players, dancers, video artists, 

etc.) from various European countries on 

the topic of holocaust and other repres-

sion forms which we haven’t reconciled 

with yet. 



MY COURTYARD FESTIVAL – a contempo-

rary circus, dance, performance and commu-

nity art project in Kaunas’ neighbourhoods, 

private houses and courtyards (pilot pro-

jects will start in 2017, the final festival – 

in the summer of 2022) presenting new lo-

cally created productions by more than 200 

European and world wide professionals. 



  European and Worldwide Meetings and 

Conferences in Kaunas in 2022

iftr conference (the international fed-

eration for theatre research 600–800 

participants), iba general assembly and 

Conference (international biennial asso-

ciation, 300–400 participants), unEsCo 

Creative Cities network’s forum (300 par-

ticipants), 

after Maastricht: the Legacy of 

temporariness  – European Cultural fo-

rum for 7 february 2022 (30

th

 anniversary 



for European union, European leaders and 

parliament members invited), hansa net-

work open air festival (20–22 May 2022, 

2000 guests expected), World youth Camp 

(1500–3000 guests expected), the Meeting 

of European Mythological beasts (20–22 

May 2022, number of beasts is still be-

ing negotiated and is currently kept under 

wraps). 

Digital participation: With plenty of digital-

ised projects, such as 

digital diplomacy, pixel 

tunnels to Europe, digital tourism, Kaunas 

Modernism 360/365 and urban Landscapes 

of 1930’s: Explosion of Modern Movement 

Kaunas 2022 programme will be accessible 

across the world, proposing vr based tele-

portations to Kaunas’ streets, buildings, epi-

centre of events, inviting to play computer 

games with main action set in Kaunas City 

and Kaunas district, as well as in the paint-

ings of M. K. Čiurlionis or FlUXUs composi-

tions of george Maciunas. We are sure that 

digital progress and our partnership with 

the best it professionals will guarantee the 

efficiency of distant participation in the pro-

gramme for much broader audiences than 

just itinerary travellers. 

IMPETUS OF CONTAMINATION 

Pixel Tunnels to Europe (2020–2022). us-

ing the innovative cutting-edge technolo-

gies and conceptual approach we will pro-

duce several digital objects with direct 

interactive transfer from and to Kaunas 

and 10–12 other European cities, ena-

bling people from those different cities 

to communicate, perform, and dance to-

gether through “digital tunnels”. the ob-

jects change their location each month 

and also change their location in Kaunas 

public venues (the riverside, island, conflu-

ence park, roof of the resurrection Church, 

raudondvaris Castle, etc.). 



Venice Biennial in 2021 (art) and 2022 

(architecture). in Lithuania we have a na-

tional competition for the participation at 

the venice biennial. Kaunas 2022 with its 

partners (visual art and architecture opera-

tors Kaunas biennial and Kaunas architec-

ture festival) will participate in this com-

petition proposing art and architecture 

expositions based on long-term research 

and preparatory projects for Kaunas 2022. 

if we succeed in the national competition 

we will turn Lithuanian pavilions in venice 

2021 and 2022 into an indirect trigger to 

visit Kaunas 2022. 



Network of Kaunas 2022 Ambassadors is 

spread internationally: (1) Lithuanian di-

aspora in Europe and worldwide. We are 

in close contact with global Lithuanian 

Leaders organisation, which unites the 

most  successful  and  influential  members 

of Lithuanian diaspora: scientists, econo-

mists, artists, and business people; (2) di-

aspora of Litvaks who have family roots in 

Kaunas, but now are scattered throughout 

Europe and other continents; (3) interna-

tional ambassadors who have cultural 

links to our City and Lithuania – e.g. previ-

ous curators, artists, and partners of inter-

national festivals in Kaunas. 

Hot-Air Balloon trip through European sky 

(the Mythical Character): a new legend for 

Kaunas City is under development at this 

moment. the main character of this leg-

end – 

the beast – has a certain, very in-



teresting shape. australian artist patricia 

piccinini is creating/visualising the main 

character of this legend. the hot air bal-

loon in the shape of this character will be 

produced and a trip across the skies of Eu-

rope will be initiated in the summer period 

of 2021. (Example: http://beautifuldecay.

com/2013/05/17/patricia-piccininis-in-

credible-skywhale-hot-air-balloon/). 

More on the channels which we will use to 

convey this to a European audience please 

see Q47 and Q48.


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Q11

To what extent do you plan to develop links between your cul-

tural programme and the cultural programme of other cities 

holding the European Capital of Culture title?

European Dimension

ECoC Bridges is what we call a set of pro-

jects which build partnerships with other 

designated or previous ECoC cities. We 

have already established good connections 

with colleagues from other ECoC cities and 

they have contributed a lot in preparation 

of our bid by sharing their experiences and 

practices. all ideas expressed below are 

pre-discussed  and  confirmed  with  ECoC 

family members.



THE LEGACY OF TEMPORARINESS

the


 Legacy of temporariness conference 

dedicated to the Maastricht treaty will 

explore the many impacts of soft culture 

programmes on cities, communities and 

civic culture. it will also look at tourism 

and  city  profile  development  exploring 

long-lasting effects created by temporary 

actions. We will invite all cities which held 

the ECoC title from 2011–2021 to propose 

a topic for discussion or make a presenta-

tion on ECoC legacy planning.

THE YOUTH PLATFORM

the 


Kaunas Challenge project for youth 

will aim to encourage experience sharing 

and capacity building among ECoC cities. 

the practice and knowledge gained by 

these young leaders can then be applied 

in the implementation of their own activi-

ties in Kaunas 2022 programme and help 

them build their trans-European links.



THE TEMPO ACADEMY

We will use the 

tempo academy of Culture 

as a platform for cross-European partner-

ships and learning from other ECoC cities 

by organising study visits to various cities, 

inviting members of previous ECoC teams 

to hold workshops and seminars for the 

participants of the 

tempo academy, organ-

ise internships for young participants of the 

project in other ECoC cities and vice-versa.



VILNIUS 2009

the team of vilnius ECoC are our routine 

consultants and we hold regular meet-

ings to analyse and learn from their expe-

rience. We are in co-operation with many 

of vilnius based culture organisations, 

institutions and individual culture pro-

ducers. above all, we foresee 



a number of 

joint activities with the initiators of Vil-

nius 2009 long-term projects such as the 

street Music day and the Culture night 

by further extending their programme in 

Kaunas to highlight the legacy of vilnius 

2009 programme.

RIGA 2014

representatives of riga 2014 were impor-

tant advisors in preparation of our pro-

gramme. We are happy to have gundega 

Laivina, the curator of riga 2014 roadmap 

programme and the team of new theatre 

riga as our consultants and partners in the 

project 


We, the People. We have agreed on 

their further participation in the develop-

ment of this part of the programme as well 

as the 


Tempo Academy training sessions 

for culture professionals and community 

leaders. they will also participate in art-

ist residencies and outdoor city big scale 

events.

MATERA 2019

the partnership with Matera 2019 will in-

clude 

common actions in the field of de-

sign. Kaunas will join Matera’s exciting 

project 


open design school which will be 

open for citizens of all age and the aim 

of which is to develop local design pro-

duction skills and expertise. tutors of the 

open design school in Matera will be in-

vited to lead some workshops in Kaunas 

2022 and vice-versa. Moreover, profession-

al expert exchange is planned within the 

tempo academy programme.

Matera 2019 has also agreed to be-

come partners in establishing the 

Virtual 

Community Partnership Platform and will 

become an active partner in 



Fluxus Labs 

programme.



PLOVDIV 2019

since 2016, Kaunas 2022 local partner 

dvimiescio kulka and plovdiv 2019 are 

both partners in a long-term European 

project initiated by a uK based creative or-

ganisation 

Walk the plank. during this pro-

ject, both partners will implement a series 

of 

community and artist capacity building 

workshops on planning and implementa-

tion of outdoor events in partner countries. 

the project will serve community inclu-

sion programmes of both Kaunas 2022 and 

plovidv 2019, and will facilitate in practise 

sharing between the two cities.



GALWAY 2020

there is a strong focus on the outreach 

aspect in both galway 2020 and Kaunas 

2022 programmes and there are some 

projects in these programmes that share 

very similar methods and visions. for ex-

ample, galway 2022 intends to set up a 

network of 25 cultural zones across the 

region (

small towns, big ideas) by stimu-

lating community-led creative initiatives 

and plans a series of artist residencies 

called 

artist in Every place. this closely re-



lates to our plans described in the 

Fluxus 

Labs programme. galway 2020 and Kaunas 

2022 intend to support each other’s pro-

grammes and co-operate on citizen ex-

change projects, workshops on community 

building, rural art, and cultural participa-

tion, as well as joint exchange programme 

for the artists.

the idea of galway 2020 project 

hope it 

rains aim is to create weatherproof pro-

jects that inspire wet weather activity and 

innovative design for rural and urban lo-

cations, linking well into our platform of 

Designing Happiness. Kaunas 2022 will 

invite artists from galway to develop pub-

lic art projects designed to be enjoyed by 

children and adults in rainy/windy weather.

galway city also has a significant 

Lithua-

nian community some of which is socially 

and culturally disconnected. galway 2020 

and Kaunas 2022 teams are building links 

with the galway Lithuanian community 

and developing plans for their partici-

pation in both Kaunas and galway’s pro-

grammes.

RIJEKA 2020

rijeka 2020 capacity building programme 

will be linked to the 

Tempo Academy of 

Culture organising exchange for culture 

operators, and inviting experts to give lec-

tures, hold seminars and workshops on 

cultural management/institutional renew-

al in Kaunas and vice versa.

rijeka’s project 

twenty seven neighbourho-

ods will be linked to Fluxus Labs project by 

organising  citizen  exchange,  site  specific 

art and public space revitalisation activities. 

the third partnership aspect connects ri-

jeka’s project 

sweet&salt with our plat-

form 


Designing Happiness. the teams will 

collaborate on the topic of revitalisation of 

riversides and will discuss new water tour-

ism opportunities, stimulate discussions 

on the future of riverside areas of both cit-

ies in terms of urban planning, organise ar-

tistic projects and artists’ exchange.

TIMISOARA 2021

timisoara’s ECoC project 

Echos will be 

connected to the 



Legacy of Temporari-

ness (Kaunas) conference event. both pro-

jects are dedicated to knowledge transfer 

among the cities that have hosted ECoC ti-

tles, as well as the long-lasting effects of 

the ECoC programme. these programmes 

will be developed in partnership to build 

coherent and thematically corresponding 

events.


NOVI SAD 2021

our co-operation with novi sad covers 

three main fields: 

Community Partnership Platform which 

will contribute to the aims of 

We, the pe-

ople programme and hope bridge pro-

gramme run by novi sad 2021. a virtual 

platform will be created by Kaunas 2022 

team which will create possibilities for 

community leaders to connect with in-

ternational partners, organise community 

twinning projects, learn from other ex-

amples by reading their project descrip-

tions and take part in webinars on differ-

ent community culture related topics led 

by community project managers in other 

ECoC cities. 

the novo Kulturno naselje 

(novi sad) has agreed to become our 

main partner in these joint actions. the 

novi sad 2021, Matera 2019, Esch-sur-

alzette 2022 teams have also expressed 

their wish to participate in the establish-

ment of this platform which will continue 

to operate and stay open for other cities 

to join.


Youth exchange projects and summer 

camps will connect Kaunas Challenge pro-

ject in Kaunas 2022 programme and 

free-

dom bridge programme of novi sad 2021. 



these activities will allow the young par-

ticipants of the programmes to gain prac-

tical experience during visits and intern-

ships with partner ECoC teams. 



Capacity building. We will co-operate on 

the 


tempo academy programme by shar-

ing expertise and knowledge in culture 

professionals oriented workshops and 

training sessions.



ELEUSIS 2021

our programme coincides with Eleusis 

2021 in many areas and we plan to work 

together on various projects. both of the 

cities encourage active involvement of 

all of the city’s human resources and dis-

semination of the events throughout the 

City’s and the district’s neighbourhoods. 

We will link our projects 

We, the People 

(Kaunas 2022) and 

neighbourhood Cul-

tural Councils (Eleusis 2021) to enrich 

both cities’ programmes and to develop 

common community lead initiatives. the 

Eu Working Class  flagship  programme  of 

Eleusis 2021 will be linked to our project 



Matters: A Platform for Post-Industrial Cul-

ture by implementing a common industrial 

art workshop as well as artist exchange. 

Last but not least, both cities are facing 

the challenge to keep their young genera-

tion in the city and therefore will collabo-

rate on youth related topics, namely within 

the 

Kaunas Challenge project. 

CANDIDATE CITY FOR 2022 

ESCH-SUR-ALZETTE

We are glad to have established a strong 

connection with Luxembourg’s city Esch-

sur-alzette bidding for 2022. during our 

four meetings with representatives of 

Esch’s team we have discussed ideas for 

three levels of partnership: common pro-

jects, additional projects (mostly based on 

exchanges), marketing and communication 

methods. 

To ensure the free-flow of our shared ex-

perience and learning, we will 



exchange 

team members for the whole period of the 

project. We will have one team member 

from Kaunas in Esch-sur-alzette to split 

his/her working time to work both in Kau-

nas and Esch to gather updates, share rel-

evant information and manage our mutual 

projects.

Joint (co-created) projects with Esch-sur-

Alzette

No Border Radio. this multimedia based 

internet radio and media platform with 

two headquarters in Kaunas and Esch-sur-

alzette will become the channel for uni-

versity students from different ECoC cities 

allowing them to broadcast information 

and opinions to an international online 

audience thus establishing another link to 

other ECoC cities.

Pairing communities/territories. by look-

ing at mutual topics of interest and com-

mon ground for partnerships, we will invite 

Kaunas communities to twin with different 

communities from Esch-sur-alzette and 

its region. by initiating links among our 

schools, libraries, businesses and com-

munity centres we will foster long-lasting 

partnerships, encourage citizens to learn 

about Luxembourg’s culture and most im-

portantly – aim for real human connec-

tions not only formal partnerships.



Cultural diplomacy. We will establish an 

Esch-sur-alzette Embassy in Kaunas – an 

information point where anyone can re-

ceive information on Esch-sur-alzette and 

their programme for 2022. Kaunas 2022 

Embassy will work the same way in Esch 

providing information on planning a visit 

to Kaunas and our mutual projects. Within 

our youth programmes we will organise 

a regular student exchange and involve 

them in the practical management of the 

Embassy and other joint projects in both 

cities.

Remix Culture, remix Culture is part of the 

programme dedicated to Esch-sur-alzette 

European Capital of Culture 2022 and 

its concept of remix. this programme is 

based on the principle of mixing different 

forms and institutions of culture, like mu-

seum and theatre, sports and circus, archi-

tecture and storytelling, to create unique 

and exciting cultural experiences.

Co-operative projects (exchange based)

 



Industrial culture. Kaunas and Esch-

sur-alzette, both cities with a vari-

ety of industries, will aim to present 

sound and visual artists of the indus-

trial culture to a broader audience, 

initiating new commissioned artworks 

and art projects co-created by artists 

from Kaunas and Esch. Kaunas street 

art festival nyKoKa will be the main 

partner of these actions and assist in 

artist and project selection.

 



Kaunas Days in Esch-Sur-Alzette. Kau-

nas and its culture programme will be 

presented in Esch-sur-alzette and will 

involve digital installations in Esch-

sur-alzette for a 

live-stream of special 

events in Kaunas. Esch-Sur-Alzette’s 

Days in Kaunas will also take place in 

the first weeks of Kaunas programme 

in 2022.

Dundee 2023 and Leeds 2023 candidates. 

We have established contacts with both 

for possible future partnerships.

Mons, Liverpool, Guimarães, Essen/Ruhr. 

We are learning from previous ECoC cit-

ies and have made links with Mons 2015, 

Liverpool 2008, guimaraes 2012 and Essen/

ruhr 2010.


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Q12

What is the artistic vision and strategy for the cultural programme of the year?

VISION

our artistic vision is to become a “Con-

temporary Capital” where every citizen is 

recognised as possessing his or her own 

“cultural capital” – creative capital that 

contributes to the City’s image, welcome, 

imagination, pride in contemporariness 

and diversity, and belief in the future. 

We want to achieve an active citizenship, 

which we lack rather badly today. Con-

temporary culture (present day culture in-

cluding all its popular and community-led 

expressions) is above all characterised by 

being holistic – it’s both an attitude and a 

life-style, as exemplified by Kaunas’ george 

Maciunas, founder of the fluxus move-

ment. it is a whole way for citizens to look 

at and understand the world while being 

actively engaged in a neighbourhood; a 

way for citizens to be proud of her or his 

“place”, both in the neighbourhood and in 

the world. recent politics in Europe and 

the usa has witnessed a swing to protec-

tionism on the ground of “culture”: it’s im-

portant to stress the value and belief that 

STRATEGY

What is the strategy to realise this vision? 



The vision is underpinned by three main 

values – of creative entrepreneurship, lo-

calism, and inclusivity. these values are in-

herent in Kaunas’ history, and can be com-

municated to its people today: through 

their 


re-awakeningadoption and reinfor-

cement in people’s lives they will become 

the strategies for achieving the vision.



Creative entrepreneurship and active ci-

tizenship founded on localism

the development of creative entrepre-

neurship as the economic environment 

for cultural production, distribution and 

consumption is fundamental to the vision. 

the commercial production and support 

systems for the programme will be pro-

cured within the local creative sector, to 

encourage emerging and established local 

designers,  iT  specialists,  film  and  anima-

tion studios, media and press people, pho-

tographers and video makers, print design 

a citizen can be proud of having common-

ality with other cultures as a way to assert 

their local identity.

our vision is that this “contemporary art” at-

titude and lifestyle can and will be created 

through every citizen’s participation in the 

broad Kaunas programme of 2017–2022, 

which includes contemporary arts and 

design, but reaches far more widely than 

these things. the contribution of contem-

porary arts (visual arts, theatre, contempo-

rary dance, circus, poetry) to the broader 

culture is 

art thinking or art attitude. our 

task is to develop the knowledge, appre-

ciation and discernment that most people 

already have about the broad culture (e.g. 

pop music/pop culture, musical, computer 

games, fashion, food etc.) towards the kind 

of 


critical attitude encouraged by the con-

temporary arts. We can nurture this 

criti-

cal attitude



 

in relation to the broad culture 

(where most people are already confident) 

and then bring those people to recognise 

that they are equipped to enjoy and profit 

from the experience of contemporary art.



RE-AWAKENING

ADOPTION

REINFORCEMENT

© rŠ


#

Cultural and  

artistic content

and production, architects and 

couturiers, 

interior designers and urbanists – and, yes, 

chefs and boutique owners. they will be 

asked to work with and for local commu-

nities in Kaunas to create and continue a 

glocal culture which correlates global and 

local perspectives. 

the commercialisation of culture can be 

glamorous, fun and educational too: we 

must find a way to protect and guide this 

commercialisation, to ensure that the im-

pulse and ownership, of production and 

profits remain local. Commerce is a driver 

of the broad culture, and we must support 

its application to the 2022 programme 

while believing that it is above all shared 

memories and experiences that connect 

people, and that this should take prec-

edence over the impulse to consume or 

acquire cliché’d brands created elsewhere. 

there is no need or excuse to retail multi-

national brands (whether disney or star-

bucks) provided local artists and entre-

preneurs are properly supported in their 

creativity. a contemporary critical attitude 

can also be demonstrated in a positive way 

in relation to the shared consumption of 

locally sourced and produced culture.

investment in the development of local 

creative entrepreneurship need not be 

a  heavy  financial  outlay.  it  is  more  about 

the consistent application of a value set, a 

mental attitude. and neither do we need to 

construct expensive new buildings in the 

city centre, a new “contemporary art cen-

tre” for instance, to encourage active citi-

zenship and embody the city’s newfound 

contemporaneity. no. 



Instead of this we 

use our creative imagination to unders-

tand that Kaunas already has the physical 

potential itself to be a “Centre of Contem-

porary Culture and Arts”, one that is dis-

persed across all the neighbourhoods and 

the district. Why construct a building when 

all that is needed is a change in under-

standing, a re-evaluation of what we have? 

the 


fluxus Labs that will pop up in exist-

ing buildings (such as under-used schools, 

post-industrial sites) in each of the 

seniūnija of the City and the District, will 

become a platform for active citizenship: 

discussions, creativity and programming of 

cultural activities in the neighbourhoods 

through all preparatory period up to 2022 

and beyond. Local people will contribute 

to small and large scale events or infra-

structural changes of 2022 by celebrating 

their own culture, using their skills and be-

ing empowered to make decisions about 

their environment today. the backward 

mindedness (passiveness) of the City will 

be converted into the new cultural “tempo” 

situation, where everybody matters, and 

everyone is involved/included. 



Inclusiveness as Europeans

alongside the nurturing of creative entre-

preneurship and localism, our third value 

also becomes a strategy – an understand-

ing and appreciation of inclusiveness also 

has concrete outcomes. our ambition is 

to awake in 2022 with a real sense of Eu-

ropeanness, as Emmanuel Levinas wrote 

about his experience in pre-war Kaunas. 

We know we still have to undergo several 

steps in regard to our self-identification in 

order to be able to welcome people from 

all over Europe through our door, to feel 

“European” in ourselves, and not only as an 

identity on the map. We know we must re-

turn to the condition of an open-minded 

city, such as Kaunas was in 1938.

We anticipate and envision Kaunas in 2022 

as having been transformed from its former 

fortress-like mentality into a self-identity 

based on 

openness, an open-mindedness 

to people and ideas, experienced in the 

encounter of what Emmanuel Levinas re-

ferred to as 

face-to-face, and, thereby, al-

so becoming a true part of the European 

intercultural partnership. We strongly de-

sire to open the City to the outside, just as 

much as to the inside, through the influx of 

artists and other cultural groups from all 

over Europe and the world. 



The awakening 

of this generous consciousness of diversity 

and multiculturalism, as a strategy, will be 

realised through and in parallel with the 

process of building community-based con-

temporary culture, in the Fluxus Labs men-

tioned above.

the strategy will be implemented through 

a whole range of platforms and events de-

tailed elsewhere in this bid document: the 



community, youth, and inter-generational 

platforms like We, the people and Emer-

ging Kaunas; through opening up common 



memories, as in yiddishe Mame or tear 

down the Walls projects of Memory  Offi-

ce platform; and through inter-institutio-

nal and cross-sectorial partnership pro-

grammes such as the 

tempo academy of 

Culture, designing happiness and Wake it, 

shake it. Kaunas will wake up to contem-

porary European culture and will contrib-

ute to Europe’s common identity again: the 

international heritage interpretation Cen-

tre, 

Modernism for the future activities, 



Memory Office and Emerging Kaunas plat-

forms, as well as 

Magic Carpets project will 

all contribute to a discussion about and 

reflection on common and relevant Euro-

pean topics. they all embody a contem-

porary approach towards recent heritage; 

re-awakening of memory through positive 

intercultural dialogue; empowerment of 

the younger generation; and recent forms 

of displacement and story-telling as a 

method of “place-making” or constructing 

site identity.

next to these foundational parts of the pro-

gramme performed by Kaunas’ citizens will 

be others – “performed” by our internation-

al guest artists and personalities – high-

profile  conferences  and  European  must-

see exhibitions, re-invigorated Museums 

and universities, engaging with the full 

range of Kaunas’ heritage, as well as digi-

tal tools and animations enabling citizens 

and visitors alike to experience that herit-

age as a part of what makes Kaunas con-

temporary.

and there will also be a new unifying nar-

rative, a new City myth – the

 Mythical be-

ast of Kaunas. We really want to address 

the general amnesia for parts of our his-

tory and heritage, and regard this as funda-

mental to achieving pride in the contem-

porary condition of the City. the 

Mythical 

beast legend can help achieve this. We en-

vision a city which 



knows its history as a 

continuum. as in the continuum that runs 

from the mouth of the beast to the tip 

of its tail. not as a patchwork of random 

and temporary events. Events can be good 

and bad, glorious and shameful, but we all 

must learn to see them as an eternal play 

of cause and consequence.

SUMMARY

We are very serious and determined in the 

planning and provisioning of 

the legacy of 

this 7+ year span of work, which we will 

not call a project, nor a platform, nor a 

festival – we call it a ChangE. the most 

important legacy we seek is the one to be 

found in the skills and new capacities im-

bued in the younger generation, and in the 

cultural sector of the City, as well as in the 

change of the mindset of the City govern-

ance and our citizens in general, a mindset 

that will value culture as an integral and 

essential component of sustainable city 

development.


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Q13

Describe the structure of the cultural programme, including the range and diversity 

of the activities / main events that will mark the year.

bLaCK baLLoons by tadao Cern, 2016



PROGRAMME

© tC


Cultural and  

artistic content

the structure of the proposed Kaunas 2022 programme has three 

main strands:

 

CONFUSION,   CONFLUENCE, and   CONSCIOUSNESS. Each re-

flects the challenges, ambitions and visions of how future Kaunas 

could use culture to underpin a process of change. under each of 

the three strands we have two platforms with their own project 

clusters. Many of these take as their starting point the challenges 

that face our City, and then go on to address these on multiple 

levels: with audience-focused performances and exhibitions as 

well as specialist-driven approaches that includes artistic expres-

sion and community activities. in this way that we want to secure 

a legacy that makes a real mark on our City and its citizens – 

achieving progress while at the same time giving everyone an 

enjoyable ride. 

   two 


HORIZONTAL PROGRAMMES 

cross and make links among all pro-

grammes and projects: 

The Mythical Be-

ast of Kaunas and the Tempo Academy of 

Culture.

the 2017–2023 programme is divided into four phases: 



IGNITION (2017–2018) is dedicated to capacity building, deepening local partnerships 

and extending European networks. 



AGITATION (2019–2020) is focused on community involvement in all processes and 

pilot projects with public events.



EXPLOSION (2021–2022) involves all partners and communities working to prepare 

and implement the programme for 2022. 



LEGACY (2023–beyond) the principles of co-creation, co-working and community inclu-

sion adjusted to the local cultural sector through the first three periods will become a 

sustainable model for Kaunas’ cultural development. 

Confusion

projects deal with unsolved is-

sues relating to our City’s collec-

tive memory and heritage

ConfLuEnCE

projects deal with weak 

cross-sectorial cooperation and 

the brain drain 

ConsCiousnEss

projects are focused on participation, 

involvement, co-creation, community 

building and strengthening of 

civic society 

thE MythiCaL bEast of Kaunas

A platform for creation of unifying narrative of the City

thE tEMpo aCadEMy of CuLturE

A platform for capacity building and further programming

ModErnisM for thE futurE

Heritage platform

MEMory offiCE

Memory platform

dEsigning happinEss

Public space platform

EMErging Kaunas

Youth platform

WE, thE pEopLE

Community platform

WaKE it, shaKE it

Cultural networking platform



THE STRUCTURE OF THE PROGRAMME:

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